How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Boulder Creek California
Selecting the right nursing program near Boulder Creek CA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Boulder Creek CA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Boulder Creek CA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Boulder Creek CA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by California community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at California colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Boulder Creek CA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the California board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Boulder Creek CA. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Boulder Creek CA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for California to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in California. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Boulder Creek CA home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Boulder Creek CA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Boulder Creek CA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Boulder Creek CA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Boulder Creek CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Boulder Creek CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Boulder Creek CA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Boulder Creek CA
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Boulder Creek CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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